We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and this week began with the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity XV, 17 September 2023). We are also in the Season of Creation.
Before today gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for prayer and reflection.
This week, I am reflecting each morning in these ways:
1, Reflecting on a theme in this Season of Creation, the annual Christian celebration to pray and respond together to the cry of Creation;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
‘We have inherited a garden’:
The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration to pray and respond together to the cry of Creation: the ecumenical family around the world unites to listen and care for our common home, the Oikos of God.
The Season of Creation began on 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and it ends on 4 October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
Each year, the Season of Creation Ecumenical Steering Committee proposes a theme for the Season of Creation. This year, the theme is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow,’ and the symbol is ‘A Mighty River’.
The Revd Dr Jerry Pillay, General Secretary World Council of Churches, says: ‘The world humans have known, enjoyed, and celebrated is changing rapidly beyond repair. Biodiversity is being lost at a rate not seen since the last mass extinction.’
In a joint statement to mark the Season of Creation in 2021, Pope Francis, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said: ‘Future generations will never forgive us if we miss the opportunity to protect our common home. We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert for our children.’
Find out more about the Season of Creation HERE.
Luke 8: 1-3 (NRSVA):
8 Soon afterward he went on through one town and village after another, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, 2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered to them out of their own resources.
The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.
The USPG Prayer Diary today (22 September 2023, International Day of Democracy) invites us to pray in these words:
We pray for all church leaders who are involved in working to promote peace in their regions. May they be steadfast in their pursuit of justice so that there can be peace.
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Post Communion Prayer:
Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy;
and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall,
keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful,
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org